Car crashes into Appalachian Antique Mall

Carl Blankenship

Monday afternoon, a Toyota Highlander backed through one of the storefront displays of the Appalachian Antique Mall and over a parking meter on King Street.

Witnesses on the scene suggested the vehicle was being driven by an elderly woman.

“I was serving tables in the window and while standing there all I saw was the car backing up into the spot,” Rachel Tilghman, a waitress at Our Daily Bread said. “Then I heard the loud crash and I saw her go over the meter.”

Tilghman said she ran outside to see if the woman was hurt or if anyone had been hit. She said that people at the tables she was serving expressed concern that if the car was parked another space up, someone could have been seriously hurt.

Bystander Ron Simons said he heard the sound of glass breaking and the engine grinding as it went up into the display.

“She was obviously shaken up,” Simons said. “The first thing she asked when she opened the door was, ‘I didn’t hit anybody did I?'”

Appalachian Antique Mall owner Jill Reeves said that nobody was hurt in the incident and the driver was taken to the hospital.

“The first thing is we’re glad that no one was hurt,” Reeves said. “That’s number one on our minds.”

She said a lot of things have happened at her store over the years.

“We’ve had the President of the United States, a state senator and this window broken with two kids fighting,” she said. “A day in the life of an antique mall, I guess.”

Reeves said that she was not at the store when the crash happened but was called about the incident.

“I got a call from my store manager and she was so calm I couldn’t believe it,” Reeves said. “She said ‘Jill there’s a car in the window.’”

Reeves said that the manager was so calm when she told her that she thought she was talking about a display item in the window.

Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey said that the town would expedite the permits needed for repair work for the store.

The driver’s name is still unknown. Boone Police didn’t comment on the scene and no press release had been posted as of press time.

UPDATE: According to a press release published by Boone Police Tuesday morning, the driver was Betty Philips, 80-years-old.  The estimated combined damage is $13,000.

Story by Carl Blankenship, News Editor